There’s nothing quite like touching down in a new destination, particularly if you’re flying to somewhere with a spectacularly scenic approach.
But which airport offers the most picturesque landing view of them all?
According to the 2019 edition of an annual poll by PrivateFly, Ireland’s Donegal Airport is the world leader when it comes to breathtaking landing strips.
Rugged coastal landscapes
The beautiful rugged coastline seen on the approach at the regional airport in Carrickfinn came out on top for the second year in a row in the annual poll from the UK-based booking platform for private jet charters.
Scotland’s Barra Airport approach, which offers stunning coastal views, just missed out on the number one spot, coming in second place.
“Too often travelers hurry through the journey to get to their destination; this poll encourages those to stop, take a look through their aircraft window and be awestruck by the joy of flying,” said Adam Twidell, CEO of PrivateFly.
“Donegal’s rugged coastal landscapes are truly awe-inspiring as you come into land. There is simply nowhere else like it and its popularity with global travelers is clear.”
Florida’s Orlando Melbourne International Airport also featured in the top 10, ranking as the fourth most scenic airport view in the world.
“First, you see the beautiful Atlantic Ocean and then pass over the Indian and Banana Rivers.
“Then, there is a pass over the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, where you may get a glimpse of a rocket on a launch pad,” one voter said of this descent.
The top 10 global scenic airports list also featured the UK’s London City Airport (ninth place), which boasts fantastic views of the River Thames and landmarks such as the clock tower of Big Ben.
New Zealand’s Queenstown Airport (seventh place) also featured, with voters marveling at its picture perfect landing views.
Juancho E Yrausquin Airport, which has the shortest commercial runway in the world, on the Dutch Caribbean island of Saba was fifth on the list, while the approach to Italy’s Aosta Valley Airport (10th) won special praise thanks to the spectacle of the “majestic mountains in Europe” that can be viewed from above.
A panel of travel experts and aviation fans participated in the annual poll, which featured 129 different airports around the world and received over 7,000 votes.
10 most scenic airport landings, according to PrivateFly
1. Donegal Airport, Ireland
2. Barra Airport, Scotland
3. Nice Cote d’Azur, France
4. Orlando Melbourne International Airport, Florida
5. Princess Juliana International Airport, St. Maarten
6. Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport, Saba, Dutch Caribbean
7. Queenstown Airport, New Zealand
8. Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, Canada
9. London City Airport, United Kingdom
10. Aosta Valley Airport, Italy